Have you always been the type of person who enjoys doing DIY projects in your home or that of your friends and neighbours? If this is the case, then you have most likely run into working on at least an electrical repairs project or two. And if you found that you were rather skilled with it, then perhaps you ought to think about becoming a licensed electrician as a career.
You might have some knowledge of becoming an electrician through some subjects or courses in school, but most likely, you haven’t been properly or formally trained on this. But there are many ways to become a licensed electrician, and it doesn’t take that long to become one. If you are interested in becoming a licensed electrician, read on to find out the simple steps on how you can achieve it.
1. You will need a high school diploma or a GED
Because being a licensed electrician requires some foundation when it comes to math and science, you will need to have some knowledge of subjects like algebra and physics. Practical courses like electronics would also be helpful.
2. Look into getting a pre-apprenticeship through a vocational college or trade school
This is not a required step, but if you have the time and the resources, can be a valuable one. You can learn the basics of electrical work in electrician programs offered in vocational colleges and trade schools. This means you will learn in a classroom setting and have some practical experience without the stress of actually “doing a job” because you’re not an apprentice yet. You can focus on learning the fundamentals before moving on to actual on-the-job training.
3. Apply to an electrician apprenticeship program for a more hands-on experience
This is a crucial step in becoming a licensed electrician. You will need to get the proper experience by becoming an apprentice, which means you will be working under the strict eye of a licensed and more experienced electrician on various projects.
Check with the labour department in your area for available apprenticeship programs and ideally, get started on applying immediately, as these opportunities will be limited given the numerous individuals who would want to be part of the programs.
And don’t forget to brush up on the basics and fundamentals of electrical work, as well as your working knowledge of algebra and science. Apprenticeship programs may sometimes require aspiring applicants to take an aptitude exam before they are accepted.
4. Work your way to getting a license
While maximizing your apprenticeship and trying to understand all the ins and outs of becoming an electrician, on the side, you must also start looking into the requirements you’ll need to fulfil to become a licensed electrician. Every state or area will have a unique set of requirements, so it is best to check with your local regulatory board to obtain a checklist of what their specific needs are.
In most cases, you will need to register as an electrician and will need to fill in a certain number of hours of work experience to become licensed, as well as pass a certification exam.